Programming Emotional Care: The Nuffield Study of the Children’s Hospital, 1963

Roy Kozlovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The essay examines the integration of psychological expertise into the planning of the post-war children’s hospital in England. Its main objects of analysis are the Platt Report (1959), which conceptualized the child’s emotional needs and fears as distinct from those of adults, and the Nuffield Foundation’s study Children in Hospital (1963), one of the earliest attempts to develop a scientific methodology for integrating subjective experience into an architectural brief. The children’s hospital was conceptualized in relation to the familiar environments of the home and the school, to maintain their emotional stability in an unfamiliar social and technological environment. In the ways in which it sequenced admittance, treatment, recovery and discharge, the spatial organization of the children’s hospital not only reflected new ways of thinking about children and their emotions, but also promoted new desires, expectations, and truths regarding the relationship between children, parents, medical personnel and the state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalChildhood in the Past
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • Hospital architecture
  • Nuffield Foundation
  • children’s hospitals
  • history of emotions
  • the Platt Committee


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